VALA OLA

ARC - Art Renewal Center "LIVING MASTER"

NSS - Elected Professional member of the National Sculpture Society

IGOR- International Guild of Realism - Charter Member

ASTA - American Society of Traditional Artists - Honorary Member

Vala is an artist who passionately and relentlessly seeks to create artworks that show her dedication to excellence. Her classical training in Europe is reflected in her art. Her figurative bronze sculptures and oil paintings are noted for their depth of expression and emotion. The high quality of her art has earned her great respect among art appreciators.
Vala creates figurative sculptures cast in bronze for art collectors as well as public monuments,
she paints figurative oil paintings,
she teaches yearly 5 day sculpting workshops,
she creates unique jewelry featuring her figurative sculpture pendants cast in silver and 24 K gold.   

2001 Vala rekindled her interest in sculpting with clay after solely painting with oil for seven years. Her inspiration derives from her observation of life. Even the most mundane circumstance we find ourselves in daily will spark an idea. The Flemish artist Vermeer would paint the simple act of pouring milk, elevating it to a moment worth remembering for eternity, in a similar way Vala will look at a moment usually passed by as moment worth noticing.

She sculpts and paints in her studio in Cave Creek AZ, northside of Scottsdale. All her sculptures are cast in bronze. 

NATIVE OF ICELAND - STUDIED ART IN ENGLAND

Vala was born and raised in Iceland. She has lived in the US since 1994. After 8 years in Santa Fe, NM, she relocated to Arizona. Vala Ola's artistic talent was apparent at age 4, and from the age of thirteen she attended classes drawing models from life. Graduating from the College of Hamrahlid, she furthered her studies at the Icelandic College of the Arts, and later graduated from The Arts Institute in Bournemouth, England.

PREVIOUS CAREERS

She won the Icelandic Design Excellence Award for the first time at the age of twenty-six. During her studies in England, she placed two entries among the finalists at the Smithsonian Young Illustrator's Competition. Returning to Iceland, she went on as her country's sole representative at the Nordic Graphic Design & Illustration Awards. Moving to the United States in 1994, she changed her focus to portraiture in oil, and found herself booked solid for the next 7 years. During those years up until 2001 she painted alongside William Alan Shirley. Their portraits were created for families and dignitaries alike. Immaculate likeness of her subjects and reverence for the technique of the old masters earned her great recognition in her field. She won the Best Figurative Award 2006 for her painting at the International Guild of Realism Annual Show in Santa Fe 2006. 

 

 

EXHIBITIONS IN US AND EUROPE

Vala's work has been exhibited in Reykjavik, London, New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Palm Desert, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Dallas, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Park City, Loveland, Nantucket.

  

SHOWS  etc.

2016

2016 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Indian Market, August 20-21

2016 Knox Gallery, Beaver Creek, CO. Weekend show August 6-7

2016 Public art installation, Summerville, SC

2016 Vala Ola Sculpting workshop, Oklahoma Sculpture Society, OK

2016 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Sculpting in gallery, ongoing display

2016 Masterworks Museum Tour, Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA

2016 Masterworks Museum Tour, Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL

2016 R. W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Portrait Comission, unveiling, Missouri

2016 Scottsdale Artists's School, Vala Ola sculpting Workshop

 

2015
2015 Art Lectures on board Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships
2015 Art Renewal Center, 2014/2015 finalist sculpture catagory "Lost Tribes" and "Ulele"
2015 Unveiling of 8' high bronze monument in Iowa
2015 The International Guild of Realism, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia
2015 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2015 Sculpture in the Park - Show, Loveland, Colorado
2015 Knox Gallery, Beaver Creek, Colorado
2015 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshop
2014
2014 IGOR - International Guild of Realism 9th Annual Exh. Charleston, SC
2014 Commissioned to sculpt a public monument in Florida
2014 Commissioned to sculpt a public monument in Colorado
2014 Commissioned to sculpt a public monument/portrait, Iowa 
2014 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2014 Sculpture Invitational, Loveland, Colorado 
2014 Knox Gallery, Beaver Creek, Colorado 
2013
2013 IGOR - International Guild of Realism 8th Annual Exh. Tempe Art Center, AZ
2013 Commissioned to sculpt a public monument in Dubuqe, IOWA
2013 Art Renewal Center Salon - finalist sculpture category
2013 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshops
2013 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Vala Ola sculptures
2013 Knox Gallery, Beavercreek, CO. Vala Ola sculptures and paintings and jewelry
2012
2012 Art Renewal Center Salon - finalist sculpture category
2012 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshops
2012 International Traveling Jewelry Show - Florida, Panama, Peru. Figurative Sculpture Pendants.
2012 John DiTomasi Gallery, Carefree, AZ. Vala Ola Jewelry and sculpture show.
2012 ASTA - American Society of Traditional Artists - 1s Annual Show, Scottsdale, AZ.
2012 ASTA - Vala sculpts the "Goddess of Art" Award for ASTA
2012 IGOR - International Guild of Realism 7th Annual Exh. Carmel, CA
2012 Tempe Art Center, museum show "Family Matters"
2012 Knox Gallery, Beavercreek, CO. Vala Ola sculptures.
2012 Sculpture Invitational, Loveland, Co. August.
2012 Sage Creek Gallery opening August & representation year round
2012 NSS - "Love" exhibition
2012 Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. Jan-March
2011
2011 Art Renewal Center Salon - finalist sculpture category
2011 Art Renewal Center Salon - finalist figurative painting category
2011 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshop
2011 International Guild of Realism Annual Show - finalist painting, sept. opening
2011 Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. Jan-March
2011 Sage Creek Gallery opening August & representation year round
2011 American Society of Traditional Artists - Honary Member
2011 Knox Gallery, Beaver Creek, Co. Representation year round.
2011 Jones & Terwilliger Galleries, Carmel, Ca.Representation year round.
2010
2010 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture category
2009 International Guild of Realism, Annual Show. Artist's Choice Award. Oil Painting.
2010 Unveiling of bronze sculpture of Christ in church, Lincoln, NE. TV coverage.
2010 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshop
2010 Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA. Representation year round.
2010 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Opening May. Vala will be sculpting in the gallery for 3 weekends in August.
2010 J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA. Representation year round.
2010 Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. Jan-March.
2009
2009 "National Sculpture Society 76th Annual Show", NYC. February.
2009 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture category (with 2 entries) 2008/2009
2009 International Guild of Realism, Annual Show. Oil Painting.
2009 Scottsdale Artist School - Vala Ola's Annual Sculpting Workshop
2009 Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA. Representation year round.
2009 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Opening May and August.
2009 J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA. Opening February. Representation year round.
2009 Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. Jan-March.
2008
2008 Elected Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society, NY.  NSS was founded 1893.
2008 Allied Artist's of America, NY. Annual Show NY.
2008 Peppertree Art Show, Santa Ynez Valley, CA.
2008 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Openings Sept. and Dec.
2008 "National Sculpture Society 75th Annual Show", NYC.
2008 "International Guild of Realism Annual Show", Scottsdale, AZ.
2008 Wichita Art Museum, "The New Reality" IGOR Museum Tour, Kansas.
2008 The Springfield Museums, "The New Reality" IGOR, Massachusetts.
2008 Museum of Texas Tech University, "The New Reality" IGOR, TX.
2008 Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, "The New Reality" IGOR, Wisconsin.
2008 Jones & Terwilliger Gallery, Carmel, CA. Representation year round.
2007
2007 Art Renewal Center Finalist Sculpture Category (with 2 entries).
2007 "International Guild of Realism Annual Show", Cape Cod, MA.
2007 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Openings June and Dec.
2007 J. Willot Gallery, Palm Desert, CA.
2007 “Celebration of Fine Art”, Scottsdale, AZ.
2007 E. S. Lawrence Gallery, Aspen, CO. 
2007 Sanders Gallery, Tucson, AZ.
2006
2006  Art Renewal Center Finalist Sculpture Category
2006 "Raymond H. Brumer Award, Allied Artists of America 93rd Annual Show, NYC.
2006 “Best and the Brightest”, 2nd place professional award, Scottsdale Artist’s School.
2006 “Sculpture in the Park”, Loveland, CO.
2006 “National Sculpture Society 73rd Annual Show”, NYC.
2006  "International Guild of Realism Annual Show", Winner of the Best Figurative Award. Oil Painting. Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM.
2006 “Peppertree Art Show”, Santa Ynez, CA.
2006 "Beavercreek Arts Festival", Beavercreek, CO.
2006 "Peppertree Art Show", Santa Ynes, CA.
2006 "Phippen Arts Festival", Prescott, AZ.
2006 “Celebration of Fine Art”, Scottsdale, AZ. 
2005
2005 Pioneer Memorial, one of three finalist (pending), Peoria, AZ.
2005 Public Art Sculpture, finalist, Longmont, CO.
2005 Phoenix Art Museum, live art auction, fetched highest bid in Breast of Phoenix.
2005 University of Dubuque, Iowa - Dr. Charles Myers— commission bronze statue.
2005 Monument commissioned, “Victory” 7 feet.
2005 “Sculpture in the Park”, Loveland, CO .
2005 “Riverwalk Fine Art & Sculpture Fest.”, Edwards, Vail Valley, CO.
2005 “Avon Fine Art & Wine Festival”, Avon, CO. 
2005 “Peppertree Art Show”, Santa Ynez, CA.
2005 “Phippen Arts Festival”, Prescott, AZ.
2005 Pan American Art Gallery, Dallas, TX. International Guild of Realism, group show.
2005 “Celebration of Fine Art”, Scottsdale, AZ.
2005 Bronze commission, 3 life-size sculptures.
2004
2004 National Guild of Realism, charter member.
2004 “Hidden in the Hills”, Cave Creek, AZ.
2004 “Phippen Arts Festival”, Prescott, AZ.
2004 Bronze commission, 3 life-size sculptures.
2004 McDowell Mountain Ranch Artist's League show, Scottsdale, AZ.
2004 Bronze commission, six life-size sculptures.
2003
2003 “Art in the Home”, hosting TV series on art.
2003 National Sculpture Society, NY, membership.
2003 Sonoran Arts League Membership.
2003 Mr. & Mrs. Steven Rockefeller, NY, portrait commission.
2003 Spirit of the Senses, lecture and art viewing, Scottsdale, AZ.
2003 Three life-size bronzes commissioned by Mr. & Mrs. Cameron, OK.
2002-1990
2002 Vala Ola shifts her focus from portrait painting to sculpting
2002 Scottsdale Artist Society membership.
2002 “Celebration of Fine Art, art show”, Scottsdale, AZ.
1995 thru 2002 Waterford Marriott Hotel, Oklahoma City. Yearly invitational art show. Commissioned portraits.
2001 Touring Iceland and Denmark.
2000 The Artist’s Magazine, finalist winner in portrait category.
2000 The American Society of Portrait Artists, membership.
1999 Ventana Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM, group exhibition.
1998 National Museum of Catholic Art & History, Rockefeller Center, NY.
1997 CCA, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, group exhibition. 
1996 The Santa Fe Society of Artists, Santa Fe, NM. Art shows summer and fall.
1996 Allied Artist of America, membership.
1995 Cynthia Woody Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ.
1995 Carrot’s Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, group exhibition.
1995 Geoffrey’s Restaurant, Malibu, CA. Art for Heart’s Sake, group exhibition.
1994 Vala Ola moves from Iceland to Santa Fe US. At the same time changing her career from graphic designer/illustrator to portrait painter
1994 City Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland, group exhibition.
1994 Nomination to represent Iceland for the Nordic Graphic Design and Illustration Awards, Denmark.
1994 House of Argentina, Reykjavik, Iceland, 10 commissioned paintings.
1992 St. Martin’s in the Field Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, two woman show.
1991 The Mall Gallery, “BPCA&D Exhibition”.
1990 Smith’s Gallery, London, UK. “Reader’s Digest Young Illustrators’ Exhb.

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ARTICLES 

Article on Vala Ola published in the American Art Collector magazine.

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American Art Collector Magazine 2010
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Opening February 2010

American Art Collector magazine Feb. 2010

Article on the International Guild of Realism show 5th Annual show in J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, Ca.

 
     

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"The bronze gives me an opportunity to mold the sense of life into an everlasting form. From the force of a muscle in motion to a tender human emotion expressed. That along with the abstract quality of composition is what inspires me. When painting I get to play with colors as well as composition"

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Vala Ola at the Blue Lagoon in her native country of Iceland.

 "All we have in life at any given time is the very moment we are living and that moment is of importance."Vala says. "I would like to inspire myself and others to have awareness and appreciation for our life."

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Vala Ola by her bronze monument "LOST TRIBES", edition of 5, size 8'x6'x6'


E D U C A T I O N

1994 - 2001 Vala Ola works side by side with mentor and portrait artist William Alan Shirley. She quickly masters the art of portraiture and they start co-signing their oil paintings, producing over 100 portraits in a classical realism style over a 7 year period.

1989 - 91 Art Institute, Bournemouth, England. (Formerly B&P College of Art & Design)

1981- 83 Academy of the Arts, Reykjavik, Iceland. (Formerly MHI)

1977- 88 College of Hamrahlid, Reykjavik, Iceland. (MH)

1970 - 1978  From the age of 8 thru 18 Vala attended evening art classes twice a week at Reykjavik's Art School, Iceland (Myndlistarskolinn i Reykjavik) - Drawing the model from life at the early age of 13. Teacher Hringur Johannesson.

1962 Born in Reykjavik, Iceland.

A W A R D S

2013 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture catagory. Bronze sculpture "Bill Rowett".

2012 Art Renewal Center - Honorable Mention. Bronze sculpture "Falling in Love".

2012 ASTA - American Society of Traditional Artists - Commissioned to sculpt the Art Goddess Award

2012 ASTA - American Society of Traditional Artists - 2 x Finalist in Figurative and Animal - Oil Paintings

2011 International Guild of Realism, Annual Show. Finalist. Oil Painting "Eye of the Peacock".

2011 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture catagory. Bronze sculpture "Awakening".

2011 Art Renewal Center finalist painting catagory. Oil painting "Girl with Pearl Earrings II"

2011   International Guild of Realism, Annual Show. Finalist. Oil Painting "Girl with Pearl Earrings III".

2010 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture catagory. Bronze sculpture "Sensuality".

2010 Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture catagory. Bronze sculpture "Bather".

2009   Finalist National Sculpture Society's Annual 2009 Show.  "Bird of Paradise"

2009   International Guild of Realism, Annual Show. Artist's Choice Award. Oil Painting "Girl with Pearl Earrings II".

2008/2009   Finalist Art Renewal Center Salon 2008/2009.  Bronze sculpture "Bird of Paradise".

2008/2009   Art Renewal Center finalist sculpture category (with 2 entries) 2008/2009. Bronze sculpture "Spirit of the Senses".

2008   Elected Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society, NY.   NSS was founded 1893.

2008   Finalist at the National Sculpture Society's 75th Annual Show on Park Avenue New York. Bronze sculpture "River Song". 

2008   Finalist Allied Artists of America Annual Show New York 2008. Bronze sculpture "River Song".

2007   Art Renewal Center Finalist Sculpture Category (with 2 entries). Bronze sculpture "Elisabeth".

2006   Best Figurative Award at the International Guild of Realism Annual Show 2006. Painting oil "Ascension"

2006   Finalist at the National Sculpture Society's 73rd Annual  Exhibition New York City. Bronze sculpture "Canine Tango".  

2006   Scottsdale Artists' School - Best and Brightest - Second place - Professional. Bronze sculpture "Canine Tango" . 

2006   AWARD: Raymond H. Brumer Memorial Award at the Allied Artists of America 93rd Show New York City  2006. Bronze sculpture "After the Bath". 

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Vala Ola sculpting "The Chief"

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The monument of "Ulele" ready to be molded and cast in bronze. The smaller maqeutte on the right.

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Vala Ola with her pappillon Tiny